Mexican Street Food: Tortilla, Fajita, Enchilada

Mexican cuisine is also increasingly conquering German plates and snack bowls. Instead of currywurst, fries, or pea soup, burritos, quesadillas, or tacos are eaten during the lunch break or in the evening.

Typical Mexican dishes

Describing typical Mexican cuisine is not easy, as Mexican dishes are very diverse and vary from region to region. In particular, the years of mixing of different cultures and ethnic groups in Mexico can be clearly recognized and tasted in culinary art.

Aztec and Mayan recipes and ingredients met those of the Spanish and French. Aztec dishes were mainly based on corn, but chili, beans, avocados, tomatoes, cocoa, and vanilla were also popular Aztec ingredients.

With the colonization by the Spaniards, cattle breeding and with it new types of meat came to Mexico. Pork, beef, and mutton increasingly influenced Mexican dishes. Rice, wheat, and sugar were also increasingly being eaten by the colonialists.

By the way: In 2010, UNESCO added Mexican cuisine to the list of the intangible cultural heritage of mankind.

A feast for the senses – Mexican cuisine

What many Mexican dishes have in common is that they are prepared with selected, fresh ingredients. Tomatoes, onions, peppers, avocados, and the best meat find their way into tortillas. The corn or wheat flatbreads, which should not be confused with the Spanish omelet, form the basis for the hand-sized and bite-sized dishes of fast Mexican cuisine.

Typical Mexico: Tortilla

In Mexico, quickly prepared dishes such as tacos, enchiladas, quesadillas, etc. are very popular. The tortilla is one of the most important ingredients in Mexican cuisine. Tortillas are thin, round corn cakes that are served as an accompaniment to almost all dishes. Filled with a wide variety of ingredients and in numerous variations (e.g. as a taco, enchilada, quesadilla), tortillas are also popular as main courses.


Tacos are probably the most well-known form of Mexican street food. In major Mexican cities, there are stalls in the streets that sell folded corncakes to the hungry for a small change. Tacos in Mexico are always made from corn tortillas, the softer wheat tortillas are used more in the USA.


Queso means cheese in Spanish and so a quesadilla is a cheese tortilla. For this purpose, a tortilla is filled with cheese and other ingredients, folded in the middle, and then baked or fried. The quesadilla is then cut into triangular “pie slices” and served. Popular variants are filled with meat, mushrooms, or potatoes.

Burrito & Fajita

Burritos are always made from soft wheat tortillas. These are filled with (minced) meat, rice, and various types of vegetables and wrapped tightly. If you then fry this packet, it is called chimichanga. The only difference between burritos and fajitas is how they are served. Burritos are served already filled, fajitas can be put together individually by the restaurant guest. Try our fajitas recipe at home, which also includes making the tortilla yourself.


Corn tortillas are used for enchiladas. These are filled similarly to burritos, using chicken rather than ground beef. The filled tortillas are then covered with a mole sauce – a mixture of chili and cocoa. In this country, the Enchiladas Suizas variant is more familiar. These “Swiss enchiladas” are not poured with sauce, but baked with cheese.

Chili: typical Mexico?

Chili peppers are probably the most important ingredients for seasoning Mexican dishes and meals. However, not all chilies are created equal. The right types of chili are always served or processed with various Mexican dishes. There are countless varieties of chilies. Depending on the growing area and climate, these differ in size, degree of sharpness, and taste.

The general rule for chili peppers is the smaller, the hotter. The cores can also be very sharp and should therefore be treated with caution.

The chili habanero is a small, hot chili that is commonly used in the Yucatan region. The famous, green and hot chili jalapeño is also very popular because of its aroma. The Chili Poblano, which is often served stuffed, is significantly milder and larger.

Incidentally, the world-famous Chili Con Carne is an invention of American Tex-Mex cuisine and not a dish that originally comes from Mexico. Nevertheless, chili can be found on many Mexican menus these days.

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Written by Mia Lane

I am a professional chef, food writer, recipe developer, diligent editor, and content producer. I work with national brands, individuals, and small businesses to create and improve written collateral. From developing niche recipes for gluten-free and vegan banana cookies, to photographing extravagant homemade sandwiches, to crafting a top-ranking how-to guide on substituting eggs in baked goods, I work in all things food.

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